By Doug Gray, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO – Set up in 2005 by Dutch entrepreneurs Sebas Van den Ende and Lucille Holtel as a consultancy firm, Real Alliance has grown in five short years to become responsible for some of the largest trade shows of their kind in Latin America, and with huge construction and development plans across Brazil during the next decade, they are well placed to reap the benefit of this rapidly expanding sector with two major events this year.
With the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics both demanding huge infrastructural improvements across the country, it would appear that Real Alliance are very much in the right place at the right time.
“An exhibition is not unique, nor is a consultancy service”, says Van Ende. “Our strong point is our specialization and the experience in the infrastructure industry that we have. Exhibiting companies want to speak with the right people. This is what we offer them, and so far better than anybody else in the market.”
Having successfully cleared the hurdles of setting up a company in Brazil, courtesy of experience as market researcher for Dutch companies in Brazil, Van Ende’s decision to locate here was relatively simple one to make. “We both new the country and had had experience working with Brazilians. We liked the country and the people and the cultural differences with Europe are relatively small. Plus we saw huge potential for Brazil in the coming decade.”
This year Real Alliance will be looking to emulate the success of 2009’s TranspoQuip, dedicated to the transport sector and every conceivable element of it from traffic cone designers to tarmac companies. With the Brazilian government’s potential four year R$700 billion investment plan to encourage them, and the Expo’s backing from the Ministries of Defense and of Transport, global companies such as 3M, Bose and Phillips exhibited at the event.
In 2010 Real Alliance will also be launching a combined event for their new offshoots ExpoUrbano and ExpoEstadio. While the latter is self explanatory and set to receive huge interest as the twelve World Cup host cities try to come into line with FIFA regulations and the Maracana prepares to close for two years for its biggest overhaul since its unveiling in 1950, ExpoUrbano takes them into new waters.
The recent economic growth of Brazil coupled with the rising population is positioned to provide some interesting challenges for the country over the coming years, and the Expo will provide a forum not just for companies to exhibit, but for the open discussion of new ideas and plans involving developers, government ministries, and those looking to win contracts.
As Van Ende says, the future looks bright; “I think we can grow further as the future of Brazil looks good and our brands are well positioned. And of course with winning the FIFA Cup and the Olympic Games these are industries with enormous investments and opportunities.”